Xinjiang and Hong Kong: the periphery playbook

Speaking at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club on 14 August 2018, shortly before his political party was banned, Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) spokesperson Andy Chan pointedly drew parallels between developments in Hong Kong and those in East Turkestan [Xinjiang] and Tibet. That comparison smacks of hyperbole. As the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office noted in its latest six-monthly report on Hong Kong, the territory “continues to be a prosperous and vibrant city” – a world away from the concentration camps of Xinjiang. Nor is Chan – who previously declared armed insurrection a possible way forward for his party – a particularly compelling advocate.